Archive for the ‘Marketing Academy’ Category
Can any business afford to ignore a sales opportunity these days; apparently the answer is yes.
Having worked in the marketing and promotions industry for well over a decade now I’m quite familiar with the simple process of placing orders for things like advertising space and print for point-of-sale. On the whole I’ve always found it to be a quite straight forward task. The golden rule is to set out clearly, in a language that suppliers are familiar with, the exact specifications of your needs. This ensures you get an accurate quote, the supplier recognises that you know what you want and in the vast majority of cases you get a good quality of service at a price that meets your budget. Everyone’s happy.
Perhaps this is changing and now I need to learn that the very first thing a written request for a quote requires is a clear statement at the very top, which reads:
‘THIS IS A LIVE SALES OPPORTUNITY – I’M ASKING YOU FOR A QUOTE BECAUSE I’M READY TO BUY’
You might detect a modest hint of sarcasm in my comment above and that would be correct. I’ve recently approached four local printers with to request a quote for a reasonable size print run. I’ve been shocked and disappointed that three of the four haven’t even bothered to reply. One did contact me to ask for some clarification on the copy but I’ve not heard a dickie bird since then. Thankfully the one printer who did respond was quick off the mark and offered me a great deal on a larger print run. Sadly his best offer doesn’t suit the requirement as it stands, so I’m still left looking. The other three seem to have completely passed by this sales opportunity.
Let me say quite clearly that I’ve often found printers to be very easy to work with, very professional and frequently willing to work hard to deliver a great service and build a good supplier/client relationship. Anyone in the print industry will know just how competitive this marketplace is. So this most recent experience is a slight shock and disappointment. Of course, the lack of effective follow-up on sales leads isn’t unique to one industry, or even the Business-2-Business market, we find it constantly in the Business-to-Consumer market as well.
I’m sincerely hoping that this recent experience is nothing more than a minor blip and purely coincidental. I could also look back at myself and remember that ‘Communication is about the result we get’ as I tell my own clients. This is always a good place to start. Did I really make it clear as to what my needs were, or the fact that order is quite urgent? In this instance I feel confident that I’ve done both of these effectively, so this experience leaves me bemused. The order itself isn’t mammoth but it will be the first of many repeat orders, so my Average Lifetime Customer Value could be quite high.
I’m sharing this experience with one clear objective; I want to provoke you to go back to your own business and confirm, beyond all reasonable doubt, that your own sales process is completely water-tight. I suggest you test the system, perhaps with a mystery shopper, to make sure that when an inbound sales enquiry arrives at your door it always enters a process that results in a clear and defined outcome. Then go one step further than this. Make sure you have some back-check process in place to ensure that every call, email or face-to-face request has been fully dealt with and ensure there is evidence to back this up. In every case there should be some record of how the request was concluded; did the prospect go ahead and place an order, or did they decline, and if so do you know why? What will you do to maintain contact with them and perhaps find a way to win the next sales opportunity they present?
In a time when so many businesses really need to ensure profitable sales continue to flow and increase, there can be no excuse for not having even the most simple of systems to ensure that every crumb of opportunity gets picked up and dealt with effectively. They also need to demonstrate that they’re open for business and ready to serve.
So, will I get my print order completed in time; yes, I’m sure of it and perhaps a few red faces might be the price worth paying to be made aware that something isn’t quite working as it should be.
Please don’t ever find yourself in the same situation.
A Testimonial -
We’re delighted to share this testimonial that has been provided by Jackie Willis, one of our PUSH Marketing Acadmey students…
“I have known Nial Adams for 5 years now. Nial helped me as my business mentor for 6 months from 2005 into 2006. I was a real ‘rookie’ to the business world, having come out of a secure job in the teaching profession.
Nial taught me so much and it’s only since that time that I have come to realise just how much I have actually implemented in my business, and in my personal development, that has come directly from him.
Now I am back with Nial, on the Push Marketing Academy, and it has a feel like ‘coming home’. I can’t really describe it except to say that Nial really knows his stuff and is able to put it across so well. I cannot speak highly enough of him nor recommend him more highly to others.
The structure of the Marketing Academy and the materials provided really ‘hit the spot’ and pushes you to do all those things you know you should but keep putting off – you know, that marketing plan and your budget and all those figures (aaagh!!) and, of course, the ‘test and measure’, Nial’s famous mantra. But, like all things that do you good, you know you have to face it and Nial will help you do just that.
So, if you are hesitating about going on the next Academy course, hesitate no more and go for it! You won’t regret it, I promise.”
Jackie Willis Cert.Ed. Dip.DI
Director Care Motoring Ltd
We’re dellighted to share this fantastic testimonial with you from Steve Gaskin of Right Angle Events in Norfolk.
“I have known Nial Adams for the past three years, having originally met him through the Antidote Network and attended one of his marketing presentations.
Prior to forming and running our company, Right Angle Events, I was a Senior police officer in London. Since starting the business we have experienced good growth and have won several awards. Like all good companies, we carry out strategic reviews of all aspects of the business, it helps us stay focused and improve. Our marketing was highlighted as a clear weakness.
If, when I was in the police force, we identified a weakness we knew it had to be dealt with. It is the same with marketing! I don’t want to be caught again!
Last month I became an inaugural student on PUSH Marketing Academy, run by Nial Adams and his team, based in Drayton, Norwich, Norfolk.
Together with other local business people, we started the Experience in October 2010. I use the word “Experience” because a marketing “course” sounds bland and uninspiring.
Nial has designed an experience which is practical and is meant to have a rapid and direct impact on the business. His experience and enthusiasm is infectious. This instils a great feeling of positivity and has given me even more confidence to develop our marketing.
In fact, after the first course meeting and listening to Nial I followed his advice and I secured a new contract in London for nearly £1000, just 48hrs later. This is just the start of an exciting experience over the next few months.
I would highly recommend this different, exciting and inspirational Experience, which has and will continue to increase my bottom line!”
Co-Director of Right Angle Events
This is the perennial cry we always hear from the Managing Director, the Senior Managers and everyone else who has a serious interest in the bottom line of our business. Of course, that’s totally understandable; essentially every commercial venture lives or dies on the basis of sales activity and the resultant income that in turn translates into profit in the bank.
However, I’ve often wondered why so many people seem to miss the undeniable link between sales and marketing. For many people the answer for more sales is simply to turn up the heat on sales activity, push more through the pipeline and in many cases, dial up the pressure on the salespeople who sit at the coalface.
If sales is the workhorse then marketing is mostly seen as the racehorse; perhaps an expensive extravagance that looks good, tells the world that we’ve got a bit of money to throw about but in general it’s costly to run, can be temperamental and very few people know how to handle properly.
The answer to more sales could be just to drive the workhorse a little harder each day, aim to get a little extra value from our investment and there are endless ways of trying to achieve this. A large number of organisations, large and small, will restructure the rewards and incentives for each sales person, or being even more blatant just move the goal posts by telling the sales team that more is expected of them… end of!
Salespeople of quality and ability know this and play the game in return; but when the pips start to squeak and the remuneration is no longer enough to maintain their interest they’ll be off to hunt in new pastures. Why do you think that the very best salespeople are so hard to find and even harder to keep?
This scenario will probably very familiar to you, irrespective of which side of it you come from. Sales is a tough game and only the strong survive but is it really the best place to focus all your energy on if you want more transactions flowing through your business?
I often ask clients ‘If you had just uncovered a spare £50,000 in your business (and you had to spend it on your business!) where would you allocate it?’. More often than you might imagine the reply is ‘on better marketing’… you see, at an intellectual level many business owners know that better marketing is needed and actually crave it.
So why is it that so few people stop to consider that if you want more sales the best place to start is at the very top of your sales funnel… with your marketing?!
It’s not just a case of aiming to get more results from your marketing, trying to get a bigger bang for your buck has (and always will be) the never-ending objective of every good marketer but how about changing your marketing to create better quality and not just quantity. Another much overlooked element of good marketing is that it actually influences the sale process significantly.
As every good salesperson will know ‘qualifying’ your prospects is vital to ensuring a smooth and successful progress through the sales process towards secured business. Marketing is the very first step in properly qualifying your leads; this process of ‘self-selection’ is a powerful way to weed out the tyre-kickers and allow you to focus on those with serious intentions of buying from you.
The lesson here is clear and I hope you’ve already started to join the dots for yourself; marketing is wedded to sales and better marketing will help you increase sales potential. If you knew, with complete conviction, that better, more effective marketing could increase the flow of potential sales, and that you could enhance the quality of those leads wouldn’t you pay more attention to it?
If your workhorse is looking tired, unlikely to give much more output and you’ve already realised that you might need a better tactic, perhaps it’s time to up your game, improve your skills and saddle up your thoroughbred and be prepared to hold on tight to the reigns.
It could just be the ride of your life!
If you want to increase your sales and feel that your marketing could be the right place to start then I’d encourage you to consider our PUSH Marketing Academy – you’ll find everything you need to know HERE.
Ready to move up a gear with your marketing? This simple shift in mind-set will increase your marketing ROI, guaranteed!
People often ask me “what’s the one thing that I can do quickly and easily to get a better result from my marketing”.
Not surprisingly, everyone’s looking for that elusive silver bullet to transform their marketing output. Well the good news guys, is that there IS a fundamental principle that will transform your marketing results, and what’s most surprising is that so few business people are aware of it.
I believe that business should be like any other professional vocation; you need to know your subject and continually update and expand your knowledge; and you probably feel the same – that’s why you’re reading this blog! Also see the PUSH Marketing Academy if you’re serious about getting better results.
So what’s this amazing principle and how does it work?
Let me describe a scenario that many business owners and managers would recognise. The vast majority of people I meet in business have a view of marketing that looks not too dissimilar to gambling. They expect to pay a price for the risk they take in trying to marketing their offering, be it products or services. They accept, without question, that they’re going to throw money at marketing and hope that they get a result that makes a profit. This is known as ‘spray and pray’. I’ve even met people who tell me that as long as they don’t lose money on their marketing spend they’ll be happy… that’s just crazy, marketing is all about creating a profit!
Marketing is actually very simple; it’s not an exact science and you’ll need to accept that some guesswork is required. However, there’s a fundamental principle you need to know before you commit to spending anything on your marketing plan and this is it:
Learn how to BUY more customers at a PROFIT
Most people spend their budget and hope that they’ll get enough back to make it worthwhile. This is a totally flawed approach and if it’s one you’re using now, I implore you to seriously consider what I’m about to tell you next.
Take a long hard look at your figures and understand the relationship between the Average Lifetime Customer Value in your business and your accepted/defined Cost of Acquisition. The relationship between these two will tell you how much you are able to spend to BUY each new customer at a profit. So start with what your figures tell you and they will guide your marketing strategy.
Understanding how Average Lifetime Customer value is calculated is essential to every business – Here’s a tool produced by Harvard Business School to explain it.
I’ve described this as a form of Inside-Out thinking for marketing. Many business owners/managers are looking outside for the answer, they want to use resources to go out and hunt down enough customers to keep the business alive. Instead, they should understand what their business is able and willing to spend to buy each new customer. This can be applied to any business, it’s not industry specific and a completely scaleable concept.
When you know the relationship between the real value of each customer (by looking at your costs and margins) and have decided what you feel is worth paying to buy them (known as the Cost of Acquisition) you will have a defined budget that you can work within and always ensure your marketing is profitable. And here’s your starter clue… aim for a CoA of 10-15%.
Applying this sort of mind-set to the way you view your marketing will transform your overall strategy. You’ll understand what you need to do to acquire more sales and build customer relationships that support and grow your business. You’ll feel in more control and above all you will feel far more confident in your marketing.
If you want to know more about this principle read more on my blog at www.nialadams.com and look out for the next edition of The Marketing Index about to be released later this month.
The PUSH Marketing Academy
Your invite to enrol for the New Year Term 2011 – Starting 18th January
Over the number of years I’ve been helping business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs I’ve learned that good marketing really is at the core of every successful business. More than this though, I’ve also learned that the owners/managers of strong and profitable businesses actually understand what effective marketing is all about.
While some business owners prefer to pass this responsibility on to others, the smart people out there have a good handle on how marketing can bring paying customers to their door, over and over again.
The strange thing is that so many people think good marketing is a mystery, or some sort of black art, when the truth is that good marketing – one that puts money back into the business and at a profit – is really very simple when you know how. To start with you just need someone with experience to show you the ropes and give you a proper plan to follow.
So let me ask…
- Do you sometimes feel confused about where to even start with your marketing?
- Are you ever anxious about the fact that you’ve not got a solid marketing plan to follow?
- Do you know what Return on Investment you’re currently getting from your marketing efforts?
- Do you wish you could find a practical way to get your marketing revved up for the months ahead?
- Are you conscious of the fact that SME marketing is changing rapidly… want to keep up?!
It’s in Your Hands!
At one of my Seminars earlier in the year I talked about the relationship between Business Knowledge, Focus and Systems. These three elements, when working in harmony, can create solid and profitable results. So you’ll understand me when I say that keeping up with your Business Knowledge is just like any other vocation; it’s something you need to invest in frequently to ensure you’re growing and moving forward. Remember; if you’re not growing, you’re falling behind the pack, as others (your competition) are forging ahead of you and probably stealing your customers.
I’ve also learned over time that trying to help improve the results of a business simply by adding some systems and a few new ideas rarely produces long-term gains. You see, the truth is that as business owners it’s all about us and our ability to grow, expand and APPLY our knowledge.
You don’t need to be a genius to be great at business, you don’t need to be the most creative, the most dynamic or even blessed with special entrepreneurial talents… you just need to UNDERSTAND how good business works and then focus on doing the right things every day!
This is why I’ve created a new learning platform for business owners who wanted to gain practical knowledge that can be applied, in real-time, to their business. Yes, there are lots of opportunities to gain academic knowledge about marketing; you can walk away with nice certificates for your office wall and lots of folders to fill the bottom draw of your filing cabinet. I wanted to create something far more tangible than this and ensure that this learning opportunity was married to practical action, so you can see the results of your learning in the bottom-line of your business. I wanted learning to go hand-in-hand with a real plan for action.
The PUSH Marketing Academy is a new way to get the knowledge that will help propel your business forward. It’s not online, home-study or distance learning, it’s up-front, ‘live and unplugged’ if you like!
You’ll have the chance to attend a Course Study Day each month with a small group of like-minded peers and learn direct from my personal experience and knowledge. The Course Programme is centred on current and relevant information that’s been assembled to ensure you can apply it to your micro or SME business in real-time and watch the new results you’re getting.
There are some great academic courses out there on marketing, and you can learn all about how the big names apply strategic and brand marketing to capture large chunks of the global market; but I’m guessing you’re much more interested in knowing how you’re going to improve your own business, without massive budgets or a marketing team the size of Saatchi & Saatchi!
You’ll also be learning a Programme that has been drawn from real-world experience of over two-decades (and not just my own). I’ve got my hands dirty and built a strong reputation on getting results where it counts. With the greatest of respect, there are some self-professed business tutors and coaches out there who have never run a business in their lives, let alone worked with (hundreds) of others.
It’s a Roll Call!
For the Winter Term I’m looking for just 15 people who are really serious about expanding their business knowledge and want to put this to good use and see this produce better results for their business.
The Programme is drawn from over 22 years of my personal business experience and focuses on the strategy and tactics that I know actually work. If you’re new to business (or even just new to marketing) it will help you cut your learning curve down considerably – not to mention potentially saving you massive amounts of money wasted on marketing that just doesn’t work.
As this is a live Programme you’ll be exposed to the very latest cutting-edge marketing tactics that capitalise on the recent significant advances in technology; all helping to make your life easier and your business simpler. You’ll find out just how much marketing has changed in the past two years and why so many businesses today are seeing diminishing results from their old-style campaigns.
The Course lasts four months and you’ll attend a One-Day Group Study Session each month, learning from a specially tailored training Programme that’s been designed and recently updated to ensure the content is fresh, relevant and applicable. You’ll be following a plan and have study material to follow as you go along so you can park your learning and build upon this progressively.
You’ll also have 1-2-1 Tutor Time with me personally to make sure you’re keeping on track and advancing your learning, as well as applying it in your business each week. There will be informal Peer Group Meetings too where you can share ideas and experiences along the way with your fellow students, helping you to even better understand and apply this new knowledge.
This Course Programme includes:
- Building & Communicating a Business Proposition
- How to Identify your Current Marketing Assets
- Effective Brand Creation & Management
- How to ‘Buy’ more customers and make a Profit
- Creating Real Leverage in Your Marketing Strategy
- The Fundamentals of Permission-Based Marketing
- Setting your Marketing Plan & Campaign Schedules
- Creating & Managing Multiple Marketing Channels
- How to Integrate your Marketing and Sales Strategies
- Tactics for Social Media – A New Wealth of Opportunity
- Setting Realistic Marketing Budgets and Measuring ROI
- How to Write Killer Marketing Copy like a Professional
- Effective PR that you can do for Yourself
- Working in Collaboration with Others – the Power of Joint-Venture
… a fitting location; Drayton Old Lodge, home to our Academy!
Is this for you?!
You don’t have to be a post-graduate or possess any special academic skills to join this Programme; a modest working knowledge of verbal and written English is all that you require… and a serious thirst to learn about practical marketing.
I’ll walk you through the essential basics first, then introduce you to the exciting stuff and show you how other businesses are adopting new ways to successfully market their products and services. You’ll learn what’s most current in the world of marketing, not re-hashed material that was out of date ten years ago!
Above all, this is a chance to really get some focus on your business from a marketing perspective; and I’m firmly of the opinion that if you’ve got a good handle on your marketing you’re more than half-way on the road to business success.
There will be only 15 places available for this next Term and I want you to have all the information you need to decide if this is right for you. So I’d like to encourage you now to request the full information pack to find out more (you’re not making any commitment at this stage).
To get this Prospectus Information, all you need to do is submit your name and email address below; this will ONLY be used by PUSH Marketing and not passed on to any third parties and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please note; the Prospectus is not on general release but on request only.
So… I’m going to leave you with a few very straight-forward questions that I think will help you decide if you’d like to be on this Programme:
- How serious are you about ‘growing’ your business? If you’re happy with the way things are and really don’t think you can change your results then this Programme is clearly not for you. If you know things could be better, then read on…
- Do you feel that your knowledge of practical marketing may be lacking or perhaps just a little bit out of date? And more importantly, do you want to DO something about it now?
- Do you find that you learn best when you’ve got a proper tutor guiding you through structured lesson plans, with practical exercises and follow-up work to complete?
- Would you value the benefit of studying alongside like-minded individuals who also want to gain an advantage in their business? Do you like learning in small groups?
- Have you ever felt that you’ve previously missed out on a more formal academic business education but never really found a programme that makes sense in terms of time and money invested?
- If you could learn new ways to bring new customers and clients to your business and all this took was some knowledge, your focus and some support, would you go ahead?
- Are you ready to step up a gear, demonstrate your business commitment by investing in yourself and learning new skills that will repay you over and over again..?
If my message above has stirred something deep inside you and if you’re curious to find out more, I’m offering you a chance to get the new Academy Prospectus and apply for a place on the next term of this year.
Just email firstname.lastname@example.org and mention where you found out about the Academy; I’ll send you a PDF Prospectus by return.
If you just want to talk over your thoughts or ask me any questions, I’m here – unlike some, I don’t hide behind my website! Pick up the phone and call me for some personal time and attention – 0844 357 0230
I very much hope you’ll take the next step on your journey of learning and would love to welcome you to the PUSH Marketing Academy this year.
Academy Principal Tutor
PUSH Marketing Academy - Enquiry Form.
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